LOWELL -- Lowell Catholic eighth-graders traveled to Washington, D.C., during April vacation, taking in the sights and touring national monuments.
The group toured several military landmarks, including the Pentagon Memorial and Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Va. In Washington, they visited the Vietnam Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, U.S. Holocaust Museum, WWII Memorial and Iwo Jima Memorial.
Other highlights were the U.S. Capitol Building, Library of Congress, National Zoological Park, National Cathedral, Lincoln Memorial, White House, National Archives, Ford's Theatre, the Jefferson Memorial, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and the National Museum of African American History.
Although many students noted how much they enjoyed their time bonding with classmates along the tour, the group almost unanimously agreed that the Ghost Tour of Alexandria, a tour of colonial lore and legends, was the "must-see" part of the trip.
For Robert Cielakie of Lowell, having a wonderful tour guide who truly inspired the students with his knowledge of the landmarks and people of D.C. made the trip memorable.
"Being in the National Cathedral with that amazing architecture and the light coming through the stained-glass, casting colors throughout the space, is an image I won't soon forget," he said.
Lena Lam of Lowell had a moment of connection to her culture when the group stopped at the Vietnam Memorial. "We saw so many monuments on the trip, but the Vietnam Memorial meant a lot to me," she said. "My grandfather fought in Vietnam, and my family fled Vietnam to Lowell for their safety. Seeing all of those names really touched me."
Kiely Hills of Pepperell said, "I was really impressed with the beauty of Arlington National Cemetery and also with the really rich amount of information at the National African American Museum. The imagery was so well put together and so educational. As a new student at LC this year, who didn't come from St. Margaret or Franco like most of my classmates, I was really excited to see how this trip made the whole class come together.
"Bonding with my friends in D.C. was amazing," she added. "I'm really looking forward to being with this group for another four years at Lowell Catholic High School."